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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


An Even Bigger Scandal Than "Memogate"

Everyone is aware of the scandal involving the forged memos regarding George W. Bush's service (or lack thereof) in the Air National Guard. The memos were the subject of a report by CBS anchorman Dan Rather who has since offered up as much of a mea culpa as anyone could expect from a pompous, insolent news celebrity.

Naturally, there are questions concerning "Memogate" that remain unanswered. Who created and leaked the memos in the first place? Could it be that the entire incident was orchestrated by some vast left wing conspiracy? We have assumed that anti-Bush forces are behind this, but how do we know the memos didn't come from someone on the Bush campaign? It seems the forgeries were so bad it's almost as if the culprit wanted them discovered to be fakes. And whose campaign have they ended up hurting the most?

But perhaps our focus shouldn't be on the sophomoric sophistry surrounding CBS. Syndicated columnist Paul Craig Roberts, in his latest essay Attention Deficit America, points out that there is a much bigger scandal the media have all but ignored:

Speaking of questionable documents, the Bush administration has swallowed a large number. What about the obviously forged "yellowcake" documents that were the basis for the "mistaken" claim that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear weapons program?

The Bush administration did not check out the "stovepiped" phony "intelligence" fed them by Iraqi exiles with an agenda and by neoconservatives determined to turn the "war on terror" into a war against Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

The Bush administration ignored all warnings from real experts and CIA and State Department analysts. Bush invaded a country that not only posed no threat to the United States, but also had no weapons of mass destruction and no connections to Osama bin Laden.

The Bush administration's forged war has cost more than 1,000 American families their sons, husbands, fathers, brothers and a few their sisters, daughters and mothers. Another 7,000–8,000 American soldiers have been wounded, more than half too grievously to be returned to combat. Many have lost arms, legs, eyes.

Granted, the person or persons behind the faked Guard memos may be guilty of libel, but the consequences pale in comparison to those of the Bush administration's war based on bogus intelligence. Roberts continues:

What have we achieved with these enormous casualties?

We have committed war crimes by bombing residential neighborhoods and killing thousands of women and children.

We have made ourselves infamous as prison torturers.

We have created an insurgency that we cannot put down.

We have given bin Laden an enormous boost in credibility and terrorist recruitment.

We have lost the world's sympathy.

We have aroused massive anger from Muslims the world over and started a process of Muslim reunification.

We have wasted $200 billion that had high opportunity costs in terms of real needs that went unmet.

We made these egregious mistakes because the Bush administration and the President of the United States used questionable documents that Dan Rather and CBS would have rejected.

You have to ask yourself, why is the front page story CBS? If CBS had forged the documents in order to intentionally mislead the public the way Bush's government used phony documents to start a war, yes there would be a story.

What CBS did was wrong, but how can we decry the network for being untruthful while at the same time ignoring the lies told by our own government? It is at times like this when we need to keep things in perspective.

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